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Best Razer keyboards 2022: explore the top mechanical and membrane decks

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Razer keyboards: explore the top mechanical and membrane planks from one of the best
(Image credit: Future/Razer)

The best Razer gaming keyboards can elevate your setup to no end. There are a few reasons they regularly feature in collections of the best gaming keyboards overall. They cover a range of sizes, styles, designs, and mechanisms, with excellent response and a premium feel. The reputation of Razer's keyboards is now well established, especially with the likes of the BlackWidow and Huntsman ranges being so ingrained in any discussion on gaming decks.

Razer hardware

Interested in all things Razer? Then you should definitely check out our guides to Razer headsets (opens in new tab), Razer laptops (opens in new tab), the best Razer mouse (opens in new tab) you can get, the top picks for a Razer controller (opens in new tab), and the best Razer streaming (opens in new tab) gear going.  

While the best Razer keyboards might have a reputation which puts them at the premium level of peripherals generally, with an increasing amount of affordable options out there now, it's never been easier to get your hands on a three-headed snake deck. 

Razer caters to both the membrane and mechanical markets, so there's plenty of choice all the way up the price range. Some even straddle that line to give you the best of both worlds, so there are plenty of models to choose from. 

We've had our hands on plenty of Razer keyboards over the years, and gathered all our top picks right here. Below, you'll find our favorite models for a range of different typing styles, genres, macro needs, and sizes. 

The best Razer gaming keyboards

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Razer Huntsman V2

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Razer Huntsman V2 gaming keyboard

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Razer Huntsman V2 Analog

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1. Razer Huntsman V2 Analog

The best Razer keyboard overall

Specifications

Type: Mechancial (wired)
Size: Full
Switches: Razer Analog Optical
Keycaps: Doubleshot PBT
Media keys: Dedicated keys, volume dial
Wrist rest: Detachable, magnetic
USB passthrough: USB 3.0

Reasons to buy

+
Analog function
+
Satisfying click
+
Comfy, bezel-less wrist rest

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The keys of the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog are designed to mimic the thumbsticks of a controller. Essentially, each key has a variable actuation point - so you can use different levels of pressure in order to produce a different response from the keyboard. That's a revelation in our books, allowing us to push harder on a key to run faster, or move with greater precision. 

The Razer Huntsman V2 Analog does something we've never experienced before, and it stands out in any lineup of the best gaming keyboards as a result.

Razer Huntsman V2 Analog review

In our testing, this nifty little feature offered up far smoother gameplay in Watch Dogs: Legion and Elite: Dangerous alike. We were cruising around asteroids, and subtly adjusting our flight patterns with the help of that variable actuation rate. It was a real game-changer - once we set it up. There's a lot of fiddling required to make the switches perform to their full potential. For example, mapping thumbstick controls to WASD in certain games meant the title itself thought we using a full controller. That meant some commands were being automatically mapped to non-existent trigger buttons. Of course, this was fixed by diving back into the Synapse software, but it's worth noting that this is not a plug and play affair.

Nevertheless, his is a Razer keyboard designed for FPS, racing, and flight-sim fans, with the WASD keys never feeling so in tune with our own gameplay requirements. While we wouldn't chalk it up as a necessity, it's certainly difficult to switch back to a regular deck once you've got used to it. 

Aside from that key feature, the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog still packs some considerable power under the hood. Razer's optical switches mean you're getting a super fast response, but there's still a mechanical click feel here as well. Add dedicated media keys and dial, USB passthrough, and a luxurious leatherette magnetic wrist rest, and you've got yourself a particularly premium deck with a twist. 

Read more: Razer Huntsman V2 Analog review

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Razer BlackWidow Elite

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2. Razer BlackWidow Elite

The best Razer keyboard for most people

Specifications

Type: Mechancial (wired)
Size: Full
Switches: Razer Green / Razer Yellow
Keycaps: ABS
Media keys: Dedicated keys, volume dial
Wrist rest: Detachable
USB passthrough: USB 2.0

Reasons to buy

+
Quality construction
+
Responsive switches
+
Sounds awesome to use

Reasons to avoid

-
Not great for longer periods of time
-
No dedicated macro keys

Blackwidow keyboards have been at the top of the mechanical tree for many years, and this latest Elite iteration seems likely to keep it there. With an arsenal of thoughtful features and a more streamlined design than we've seen in previous Blackwidow models, the Razer BlackWidow Elite seems to solve some of the line's early problems. While you are dropping dedicated macro keys, there's more than enough functionality in here to make up for it - including Razer Hypershift, an additional layer of programmability accessible via a modifier key. 

There’s no denying the quality of the materials or the construction, and the green switches will delight gamers who prize responsiveness and speed.

Razer BlackWidow Elite review

We found the BlackWidow Elite to be taller than other Razer decks, with a high profile design that did become cumbersome during longer testing sessions. However, the concave keycaps kept us in line.

Those keycaps are working hard as well. The clicky green switches in our testing unit were incredibly sensitive, which came in handy for twitch reflex manoeuvres. However, we did find ourselves making several mistakes with unwanted keypresses. That means we'd recommend taking a look at the orange switches if you're looking for extra precision.

We greatly valued the USB passthrough on here, as well as the addition of a 3.5mm audio jack. We're often testing the best gaming headsets while we plug away on Razer keyboards, so having somewhere easy to plug that cable in was a godsend.

The Razer BlackWidow Elite still isn't a budget buy by any means. However, it doesn't touch the lofty heights of the Huntsman V2, but still offers enough luxury to put it several large steps ahead of budget models like the Cynosa and Ornata. That makes it the best Razer keyboard for most people - strong value for money that doesn't load up on expensive features that might not see use from everyday players.

Read more: Razer BlackWidow Elite review

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razer cynosa v2

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razer cynosa v2

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3. Razer Cynosa V2

The best budget Razer keyboard

Specifications

Type: Membrane (wired)
Size: Full
Switches: Rubber dome
Keycaps: ABS plastic
Media keys: Dedicated keys
Wrist rest: None
USB passthrough: None

Reasons to buy

+
Feels great to type on
+
Quiet membrane keys
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Some keys can sound 'squeaky'

The Razer Cynosa V2 manages to feel great under your hands without breaking the bank - which isn't an easy find in the world of Razer keyboards. Not only is it one of the brand's best decks for value for money, but it's one of the cheapest models worth running on the whole market as well. 

If you've never owned a gaming keyboard before, this is the perfect place to start.

Razer Cynosa V2 review

While these rubber dome switches are a little cheaper by nature, the Cynosa manages to implement them in a way that still feels tactile and responsive. Plus, you're keeping that quiet typing experience of a non-mechanical deck as well. It should be said, though, that in our testing we did come across a few squeaky keys. While no means a deal-breaker, and certainly not a constant sound, the odd ting noise could become irritating if they build up over time.

We were still flying across the board with excellent actuation speed and response, which is more than can be said for the majority of budget gaming keyboards. Not only that, but you're also getting dedicated media controls and a full set of RGB LEDs as well. 

The Razer Cynosa line is very similar to the brand's other budget range - the Ornata. The Cynosa won't take you past $50, but the Ornata, with its hybrid switches, media dial, and included wrist rest will run you closer to $80. While the Ornata may boast a few more specialized features, then, those looking for a true budget buy will be better suited to the value experience that the Cynosa V2 line offers.

Read more: Razer Cynosa V2 review

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4. Razer Huntsman Elite

The fastest Razer gaming keyboard

Specifications

Type: Mechanical (wired)
Size: Full
Switches: Razer Opto-Mechanical
Keycaps: ABS
Media keys: Dedicated
Wrist rest: Detachable
USB passthrough: No

Reasons to buy

+
Opto-mechanical switches eliminate delay
+
Plush leatherette wrist rest
+
Bold RGB

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB passthrough or macros
-
Requires two USB ports for full RGB

Razer's Huntsman range of keyboards is rapidly becoming the company's premier lineup for competitive use. They are currently the only set of keyboards to feature Razer's excellent opto-mechanical switches to essentially eliminate actuation delay (the time it takes for a key-press to be registered). That means the Razer Huntsman Elite keys register the moment they touch a laser beam. 

The opto-mechanical switches that are the star of the Huntsman line are some of the best switches I've ever had the pleasure of using.

Razer Huntsman Elite review

These opto-mechanical switches are the star of the show here, offering up some of the speediest, most responsive switches we've seen in a gaming keyboard. We found that the tactile feedback and sound was similar to that of the Cherry MX Blue, but with a 15g lighter actuation force, each press was far easier and stood the test of a longer play session much better as well. Not only that, but you'll find some solid stabilizers supporting those switches as well - we were particularly impressed with the stability of the overall experience here.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to having all that speed at your fingertips. The Razer Huntsman Elite does lack some of the more peripheral features that sit on other Razer keyboards. There's no USB or audio passthrough here, and you're not getting any dedicated macro keys. However, we were grateful for the stripped back approach here, with the features that are included (dedicated media keys and RGB) performing particularly well.

Read more: Razer Huntsman Elite review

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5. Razer Ornata V2

The best hybrid gaming keyboard from Razer

Specifications

Type: Mecha-membrane (wired)
Size: Full
Switches: Razer mecha-membrane
Keycaps: ABS
Media keys: Dedicated, volume roller
Wrist rest: Detachable
USB passthrough: No

Reasons to buy

+
Mixes membrane and mechanical switches
+
Low actuation
+
Pleather wrist-rest

Reasons to avoid

-
Keycaps get greasy

The Ornata V2 is a brilliant answer to the question: should my Razer keyboard be mechanical or membrane? The answer is, actually, it can be both. 

Utilizing a 'mecha-membrane' approach to its design, the Razer Oranata V2 blends the two approaches and techs into a glorious combination: it has a mechanical 'click' with the feel of membrane switches. As a result, it is very easy to use and proved incredibly responsive in our testing, enhanced further by the low-profile keycaps. 

This mecha-membrane device combines the the 'click' of mechanical decks and the feel of traditional membrane switches.

Razer Ornata V2 review

The Ornata V2 feels particularly tactile under the hand, which will benefit those who don't get on with the longer travel distances of linear mechanical switches. However, you're still getting a durable set of keys with a satisfying sound here - it really is the best of both worlds. Not only that, but because of that cheaper hybrid design this is also one of the more affordable Razer keyboards out there.

Of course, it's not as cheap as the Razer Cynosa V2, but you're still getting plenty of additional features like a media dial and wrist rest to make that extra investment worth it. That said, the budget build does mean you're picking up ABS keycaps - a smoother, less durable alternative to pricier PBT models. In our testing we did notice some oily shine appearing fairly quickly.

Read more: Razer Ornata V2 review

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Razer Huntsman Mini

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6. Razer Huntsman Mini

The best small Razer keyboard

Specifications

Type: Mechanical (wired)
Size: 60%
Switches: Opto-mechanical
Keycaps: Double-shot PBT
Media keys: Dual-function
Wrist rest: No
USB passthrough: No

Reasons to buy

+
Compact and portable
+
Fast Razer Optical Switches
+
Satisfying key action
+
Tough and grippy PBT keycaps

Reasons to avoid

-
Not great for long periods of typing

Don't let the size of the Razer Huntsman Mini fool you - it's every bit the equal of its full-size counterparts. That's because it also features the same excellent opto-mechanical switches for ultra-fast actuation and a satisfying 'click' with every key bump. It's a delight for typing as a result, but its main draw is its speed. You can respond every so slightly faster than your foes with this one, and that's crucial in competitive shooters like Apex Legends.

The smaller footprint means it's easy to transport as well, making this the ideal choice for tournament use or those who travel a lot. It's also a good pick if you want to use it on one of the best gaming laptops (opens in new tab), as it doesn't take up a huge amount of space.

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7. Razer Turret

The best Razer console keyboard

Specifications

Type: Mechanical (wireless)
Size: Full
Switches: Razer Green Tactile
Keycaps: ABS
Media keys: Dual function
Wrist rest: No
USB passthrough: No

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile - works with PC or Xbox One
+
Modeled after the excellent BlackWidow
+
Durable and built to last

Reasons to avoid

-
Hard wrist rest

It's an amazing package for anyone looking to play console games with a keyboard and mouse, with some thoughtful features designed specifically for use in the living room.

Razer Turret review

The Razer Turret is certainly an older model, but if you're looking for a keyboard setup on your console it's still a solid go-to. You can run this model on Xbox as well as PC, which will appeal particularly to anyone on the hunt for versatility - though unfortunately not if you're a PlayStation player. 

The best Razer keyboards are seldom wireless, but you'll find a solid cable-free connection here, on both Xbox and PC. We were particularly impressed with the battery life, running through several testing sessions without needing to juice up. 

Interrogated more closely, the Turret's two parts perform just as well as the full-blooded counterparts which provided their inspiration. To start with, the keyboard is just like the BlackWidow in its reliability, quality, and design (its retractable mouse pad is also a wonderful design touch). Meanwhile, the included mouse is on par with the Mamba model - one of the best Razer gaming mice (opens in new tab) you can get. 

Read more: Razer Turret review

What is the best Razer keyboard?

The best Razer keyboard in our testing is the Razer Huntsman Analog V2. While a premium package, this model packs a huge amount of additional features into its full-sized form factor, while also offering new analog switches. There's nothing quite like it on the market, so it's a must-have for gaming keyboard aficionados looking to invest. 

Are Razer keyboards worth it?

Razer keyboards are build for gaming from the ground up. That's why you'll usually find some of the fastest switches and heaviest RGB support from these planks. On top of a renowned build quality, the Chroma RGB system is compatible with a massive range of external services. 

If you're planning on buying a keyboard primarily for typing, we'd recommend looking elsewhere - or the best hot-swappable keyboards. The switches and stabilizers often found in Razer's keyboards are designed for speed over stability. While you'll find some solid feeling keys at the top of the price range, those who don't need the additional gaming features can get far superior typing feel for much less cash with other brands. 

Are Razer keyboards just for gaming?

While Razer does offer a massive range of excellent gaming keyboards, the brand also has a solid range for the office as well. The Razer Pro line comprises a keyboard and mouse that does away with some of the more speed-focused features and concentrates on a more subtle aesthetic. However, there are uses for Razer gaming keyboards in a productivity setting as well. 

We'd recommend making sure the keystrokes aren't too loud - some of the mechanical switches in these decks can be too distracting for use in a shared space. 

How we test gaming keyboards

We adopt each Razer keyboard as our own whenever a new model comes our way for review. That means we can make recommendations based on not only hands-on experience, but also the quality of life of a product. We use each Razer keyboard we review for work and play over a considerable amount of time, while also running a series of tests designed to stress a keyboard's performance through a range of genres. 

In particular, we're always making sure key features like the n-key rollover and scan rates are true to the brand's marketing, while also testing response times, debounce, switch speeds, ease of macro use, travel and more during our use. 

Because we use these devices every day, we're always keeping an eye on that form factor and durability as well - watching out for any flexible parts or switch wobble. However, once our initial review is finished we will continue to keep these Razer keyboards in our rotations so that we can determine long-term build quality and update our findings as well. 

For more information on how we make our recommendations, take a look at our full GamesRadar+ Hardware Policy. You'll also find more details on how we test gaming keyboards specifically as well. 

If you're after more gear, it's worth noting that Black Friday gaming deals are on the horizon (and so are Cyber Monday gaming deals). We're expecting big things this year so stay tuned for more.

Tabitha Baker
Tabitha Baker

Currently Managing Editor of hardware at GamesRadar+, I originally landed in hardware at our sister site TechRadar before moving over to GamesRadar. In between, I've written for Tom’s Guide, Wireframe, The Indie Game Website and That Video Game Blog, covering everything from the PS5 launch to the Apple Pencil. Now, i'm focused on Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops (and the keyboards and mice that come with them), and tracking everything that suggests VR is about to take over our lives.